Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Foggy confusion

I've always been uncomfortable with the idea of "self-regulation." Regulation has to do with rules—creating and enforcing rules. I like the idea that children will find a balance. And it has helped me in moving from kneejerk what-would-my-mom-do (when my kids were babies I worked consciously to make decisions a better way) to try to avoid using phrases of children that I wouldn't use of adults. I don't say my husband self-regulates his leisure time, or that my friend self-regulates her diet or that my sister self-regulates her housekeeping.

People will come [to a discussion] and say "I've given him freedom, when will he self-regulate?" and I think (though I've never asked) they mean "When will he somehow do what I would have made him do if I were making him do things?" Some newer unschoolers are similarly waiting for their kids to ask to learn biology, or to wake up one morning eager to write a book report.

photo by Karen James

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